All Photos Courtesy of Knit the City

This isn’t your everyday crafting guild or knitting group. Knit the City people who anonymously go by names such as Lady Loop, The Purple Purler, Bluestocking Stitcher, and Deadly Knitshade’s Whodunknit, continue their crusade called Knit the City with a variety of very in-your-face street graffiti which they call Yarnstorming–acts of defiance, creativity, and inspiration that redefine public spaces using needles and wooly yarn.

While they’ve since gone on to knit a Web of Woe late this summer complete with a giant yarn web and knitted beastie plushy dolls in a graffiti-riddled area once a favorite by legendary street artist Banksy, in this story we wanted to tell the tale of their other endeavor this summer called the Phonebox Cozy. Smack in Parliament Square in London, ‘hood of Big Ben, the Yard Corps gathered their needles and yarn and completed the creation of, we believe, the first-ever London red telephone box knitted cozy.

The planning in such a feat is incredible, as it is with any well-orchestrated street graffiti move of note. In this case, according to Knit the City, “It was a journey of covert phonebox measuring, panic knitting, strawberry beer sewing, emergency stretched stitch saving, and a run-in with the long arm and confused faces of the law.”

The thing about Yarnstorming vs. normal spray can painted graffiti is that it’s somewhat disposable. It’s yarn and can be torn off or left, as it seems to be, as people love it and take pictures in many of the places that the Yarn Corps’ Yarnstorm which by the way, is coming to a city-near-you.

Knitted barricades–Yarnstorming street graffiti can be so colorful and tactile.

These creators are so DIY, they map their patterns via newspapers strewn across the floor to measure the exact dimensions of their target. From there, they craft just how much yarn, knitting, and corner stitches it will require to make, say, a telephone box cozy, and go from there. The real trick however is doing it fast, on-site, under major duress and knitting (usually with extremely colorful yarn to make a major statement, and all) like your life depended on it.

In the story of the London phonebox cozy, the Yarn Corps actually practiced on a more hidden phonebox a half hour before. (They encountered several horrors, including Stitches Sag -the worst of many enemies they had to face.)

Despite the practice and fast-knitting, they did eventually get busted with a “Stop and Search” warning from the cops that read “seen decorating telephone box for photography session.” Meanwhile, many Londoners stopped to pose by the knitted phonebox and took pics and in some cases, gave the old, know-wooly relic, a big hug.

Telephone cozy fans of Knit the City in London.